Grace Baldridge, a 31-year-old openly queer artist who goes by the stage name Semler, sat atop the iTunes Christian Albums chart for the second time in 2021.
“We Did It Again! An Openly Queer Artist Holding the #1 Spot on the Christian Charts. Baby Bloom,” Baldridge tweeted. Like her previous album, “Preacher’s Kid,” Semler’s October 22 EP titled “Late Bloomer” rose quickly to become the number one Christian album.
Unlike “Preacher’s Kid,” Semler’s new album doesn’t have an explicit warning tag. In her previous album, songs “Bethlehem” and “Youth Group” both carried the warning.
Baldridge is the daughter of an Episcopalian priest. She married her partner, Elizabeth Capel, in 2018. In this new album, Baldridge focuses on issues of the Christian faith. In her song “Wanna Grab Coffee?” she writes, “Jesus loves you, but I don’t know if He likes you. If you hung out for a day, I think He’d have some notes to go through, like ‘Why are you the way you are?’ and ‘Hypothetically would you say that hell is near or really far?’ I’m just sayin, stranger to sinner, I sure hope you’re prayin, ‘cause judgement is coming and you will be payin.”
During the chorus of the song, Semler sings, “But that is my favorite part about a savior, the feedback on behavior. Salvation was a favor. Oh that is my favorite part, ‘cause God knows religion is hard.”
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iTunes isn’t the only place where Semler’s music is getting heard. Her song “Hallelujah (In Your Arms)” was also featured on Spotify’s Top Christian editorial playlist.
A week after its release, Semler’s new album dropped to the number two slot, behind Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship — Awake America.” Baldrige tweeted, “HELLO FROM LATE BLOOMER HQ! We remain in a holding pattern at #2 on the iTunes Charts. However on God’s charts we are currently #1.”
Semler’s Music Promotes the LGBTQ Lifestyle
The controversial artist released three songs on April 23, 2021, which included “TobyMac,” a song she also performed live from her living room in a YouTube video. In the song, Semler writes about wanting to make her girlfriend a mixtape but expresses that she only knows Christian songs. This made her think creatively, as the lyrics say, “Like, when TobyMac said ‘You consume me,’” referring to DC Talk’s “Consume Me” from their record “Supernatural.”
“I thought of her and how her eyes see through me, and Switchfoot has an ‘Only Hope,‘ and that’s her for me,” the song continues. “Even though I know they wrote them for God, for Jesus, for a savior, ain’t that nice? But I’m seventeen, and I want someone real to hold at night, and I’m terrified, I’m terrified. They’d hate me if they knew I’m using worship songs to say I love you.”
Later in the song, Semler says that “Reliant K f–king got my a– through college.”
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In her video, Semler explained that creating a mixtape for someone you’re interested in when you only have access to Christian music can be a “minefield,” because “you don’t want to drop a praise and worship song that comes across too heavy, but also you want to get the message across.”